Rhone 2020 En Primeur
2021 has clearly been one of the most challenging vintages in living memory with frost and mildew causing major damage throughout the country. We will expand our thoughts on 2021 once we have tasted the wines.
Beyond the difficulties of 2021, the growers were smiling once discussions moved to the 2020 vintage. The Rhône has been blessed with a run of wonderful recent vintages and 2020 will rank highly amongst these. In many ways 2020 is similar to 2019, again being a hot, dry year. The winter and spring were both mild and followed by the warm summer, delivered a very early harvest. Many producers began picking in late August and were finished by mid September. Far higher rainfall over the winter period compared to 2019 meant that precious reserves of water were built up in the subsoil. The vines were therefore not stressed by the heat, alcohol levels were typically a little lower and overall the wines deliver more freshness than both 2019 and 2018. Growers were generally pleased with their yields in the Northern Rhone, although volumes in the Southern Rhone were again disappointing. At Vieux Télégraphe for example, they made 32hl/ha of their Chateauneuf du Pape in 2019 and just 27hl/ha in 2020. We were hugely impressed with all the 2020s we were shown. Tasting alongside the ‘exotic and rich’ 2019s, the 2020s has greater balance, elegant tannins and a lovely brightness. It is clearly a vintage that suits both reds and whites. Many growers were very proud of their white wines, with a return to a classic style of ‘white flowers, salinity and energy’. With ever greater pressure on Burgundy stocks and prices, there has never been a better time to focus on the magnificent wines from the Rhône in 2020. One must also bear in mind that 2021 will be a tiny crop and those prices are expected to rise significantly.
Shipping will take place over 2/3 occasions in 2022 and some will be shipped early 2023. All offered In Bond with duty, VAT & onward shipping payable upon release. Transfers to bonded warehouses will be charged at cost.